5 Hacks for Decision Making

Not being able to make decisions can create paralysis in your life. Indecision can cost you your business, end relationships and make even the easiest of activities complex. Often, if you can’t make a decision then you are probably afraid of something. Before you can begin to consider your options, you need to lose the fear. Consider the worst case scenario and the possible outcomes. What can you do to mitigate the risk? What can you do to mange and respond if it comes to pass? Then decide what what works best for you.

Despite your best efforts there will be times when even deciding how to decide can feel almost insurmountable. Fortunately, there are methods we can use to hack indecision.

  1. Make Habits Not Decisions: Make habits out of some decisions and remove the whole decision-making process. For example, Friday night is date night for my husband and I and consequently, neither of us is interested in making dinner. So Friday’s is for leftovers or ordering in. No arguing over who has to cook. No decisions about what to cook.
  2. If/Then Decisions: If/Then decision-making basically means that you make decisions based on external actions. If this happens, then I will do this. For instance, if I’m not sure whether to walk the dog or work in the yard, then I see if it’s going to rain and if yes, then I go for a walk.
  3. Avoid Information Overload: Sometimes having an excess of information can result in going in circles. To avoid “analysis paralysis” determine what information is really important or relevant in order for you to reach your decision. Make sure you know why the information is relevant. Create a schedule that includes getting all the data you need and stick to your deadline for making a decision.
  4. Assess the Risks: Determine what risks are associated with different decisions. Weigh whether or not those risks are worth taking. If a decision comes with risks not worth taking, then perhaps that is the wrong decision.
  5. No Decision is a Decision: Remember that by not making a decision you are making a decision. Generally, the result is that you lose the element of choice.

Related Articles:

How to decide

Resources

If you’re looking for additional tips, check out the Harvard Business Review’s Deciding How to Decide, found here: https://hbr.org/2013/11/deciding-how-to-decide

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7 responses to “5 Hacks for Decision Making

  • Thank you for the post. I love the point that “make habits not decision” because I believe habit is the only factor which can change my life.

  • I definitely can suffer from analysis paralysis at times, but I’m getting much better about just “doing the thing” whatever the thing may be. Getting started is so often the hardest part!

    • Debra Yearwood says:
      April 22, 2018 @ 03:13 pm

      I hear you Jeri. I find that the paralysis kicks in when I’m too busy, suddenly a simple decision can seem complex because I’m trying to chase down all the possibilities. It’s usually a good indicator that I need to step back and reprioritize.

  • What great tips. I know the decisions sometimes depend on the severity of the consequence. For me, if something if important, I go through the IF/THEN decision process. It is vital to know what might occur, not just what you want to happen.
    Thanks for sharing this informative post!

    • Debra Yearwood says:
      April 22, 2018 @ 03:14 pm

      I completely agree. Doing due diligence on important decisions is about making the right decision.

  • Thank you for sharing these hacks. I believe not making a decision is a decision. You mention information overload. The idea is the more info you have, the more informed you are to make a decision. Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed and more confused than the start especially if the information is conflicting.

    • Debra Yearwood says:
      April 22, 2018 @ 03:16 pm

      I’m amazed at how often people delay making important decisions until someone or thing makes the decision for them. It seems like such a risky approach to me.

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